Herbert Spencer's Four Theories of Social Evolution

  title={Herbert Spencer's Four Theories of Social Evolution},
  author={Robert G. Perrin},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={1339 - 1359}
  • R. Perrin
  • Published 1 May 1976
  • Psychology
  • American Journal of Sociology
Although there is at present a revival of critical interest in Spencer, more disagreement than agreement exists among scholars regarding the exact nature of his social evolutionism. It is here argued that the single term "social evolution" was actually applied by Spencer to four quite different theories-an inherent source of difficulty for his readers. This essay, which strongly affirms each discipline's need for an accurate history of itself, provides a novel but fully documented analysis of… 
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